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Jordan: 'Fib' kickstarted Schumacher career

Eddie Jordan reveals the little white lie that saw Michael Schumacher make his debut at Spa back in 1991
Eddie Jordan has revealed that a little white lie played a major part in Michael Schumacher making his F1 debut 20 years ago in the Belgian Grand Prix.

With regular driver Bertrand Gachot sidelined after he was sent to prison two months following an altercation that saw him spray a taxi driver with CS gas, Jordan was forced to find an alternative driver for the Spa race, with Schumacher eventually taking the drive.

Although he failed to finish after a clutch problem, Schumacher made enough of an impression to secure a switch to Benetton for the following race and has since gone on to become the most successful driver in the history of the sport.

However, Jordan has now revealed that it could have been very different were it not for a small lie on Schumacher's part prior to his debut race.

"I asked Michael if he'd been to Spa before and he said 'yes',” he revealed to The Sun. “But he'd only been as a spectator and not driven the track.

"I suppose it is too strong to say he lied but when you ask someone if they've been to the track before you know it means have they raced there.

"Had I known he'd not raced there before then I probably wouldn't have put him in the car as Spa is such a technically demanding and difficult track.

"If I had not raced him who knows what would have happened in his career."

Jordan added that he had been surprised at the success Schumacher went on to enjoy in his career, despite being aware of the fact he was a special talent prior to the Spa weekend.

"Before the first race we gave him a test at Silverstone,” he said. "I remember getting a call from our team manager Trevor Foster saying 'I'm not sure what's going on. Did they alter the track this morning? His times are ridiculously fast'.

"I knew Michael was an outstanding talent. But I didn't expect him to go on and win so many races and titles and become the most successful driver in history.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Gerard Berger (AUT), Michael
27.11.2016 - Manor Racing goup photo, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing, Test Driver and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Fia group photo, Michael
27.11.2016 - Fia group photo, Michael
27.11.2016 - Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing MRT05, Test Driver
27.11.2016 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing MRT05, Test Driver and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
26.11.2016 - (L-R) Mark Webber (AUS), Alain Prost (FRA) and Eddie Jordan (GBR)
25.11.2016 - Michael
25.11.2016 - Michael
25.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing MRT05, Test Driver
25.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing MRT05, Test Driver
25.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, (L-R) Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05 and Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing MRT05, Test Driver
25.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Jordan King (GBR) Test Driver,  Manor Racing MRT05

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Pingley - Unregistered

August 25, 2011 5:17 PM

I was at the Silverstone test on the old South circuit when Michael drove an F1 car (the Jordan) for the very first time. I was working for Pirelli at the time and we were testing with Tyrrell and Rupert Manwaring, their manager had a new multi driver timing device he was also testing out for the first time. The short story is Michael was absolutley awesome! He broke the lap record on his first flying lap and through the short chicane he made the other guys look average. He was obviously a HUGE talent and went on to demonstrate his skills post Jordan and poor old EJ not being able to afford a new clutch for the boy.

andrew.

August 25, 2011 5:46 PM

And Eddie Jordan was stupid enough to believe the little white lie. Then Jordan didn't even bother to have a driver that was clearly good on any sort of legally binding contract. I am convinced that Eddie Jordan is one of the biggest fools to ever manage an F1 team.



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